I’d heard the name Ranulph Fiennes ever since I was a kid but probably couldn’t attribute it to anything specific, growing older and particularly when becoming interested in adventure I quickly learned that his name literally defines exploration and human endeavour.
This book is a bestselling autobiography of his life up to 2007. I picked the book up after hearing one night in the pub about his 7x7x7 challenge. 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days. What?! Yes. But that is just the start of it, and only a fraction of the book in a chapter simple titled ‘Heart Attack’!
The book is thoroughly gripping and takes you rapidly through growing up and falling in love. It plonks his mammoth achievements (from multiple corners of the globe) along the route. To date it is still the most honest book I’ve ever read. At times I genuinely thought ‘what a b**tard’, but those were when he was describing the thoughts he had when on the edge of human limitations and in scenarios not only just I, but also the rest of the world could probably not try to comprehend. Other times he is incredibly endearing.
Some nice photos are dropped into the book and there’s even an appendix with some guideline tips on organising a polar expedition. The book is highly personal, I can’t over emphasise how honest and simply gutting at times. It is one life well worth reading about, a fantastic character, enormously well earned place amongst the explorer elite and comfortably my favourite biography. This book got me wanting to push my own boundaries, it’s just a nuisance to know he set the bar so high.